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Some information for mid-May:

Wednesday/Thursday’s weather front brought with it 50cms of new snow at 3000m and 30cms at 2500m.  There was a lot of wind giving rise to unstable conditions by the end of the day on Thursday and Friday, (risk of avalanche.)  

Bad weather with more snow is foreseen for Friday night and Saturday.

The Aiguille du Midi cable car, (ridge no longer equipped), Montenvers train, cable cabins to the ice cave and the Skyway Monte Bianco (but closed from 13 to 17 May) are the only lifts still open.

High Mountain

The Conscrits hut is now closed.  The huts still open are: Couvercle, Requin, Cosmiques, Torino, Grands Mulets.

Due to the bad weather there has not been much activity recently. Next week should be better.  Conditions for ski mountaineering and classic snow routes should be OK, (not too much ski carrying, crevasses filled in, etc,) but do not forget to check the avalanche risk.  Concerning the mixed routes, it is not known if conditions have improved.  

Hiking

Down in the Chamonix valley it feels like spring or even summer.  However, up in the mountains, conditions remain wintery.

Due to so much snow, there is little chance that the footpaths above 2000m, (1800 for N facing,) will be feasible this spring.  Some sections of the classic trails are likely to remain awkward even at the beginning of summer, e.g.  Lac Blanc – Lac Cornu – Grands Balcons – Tour du Mont Blanc.

One can get an idea of the amount of snow by looking online at the Chamonix webcams.  Also, do not hesitate to get advice on what paths are feasible from the Chamoniarde (OHM) office. Be sensible in your choice of route and make sure you are properly equipped.

Mont Blanc Normal Route

The Goûter hut opens on the 24th May and the Tête Rousse hut on the 27th May.  The Bellevue cable car opens on the 8th June and the Mont Blanc tramway on the 15th June.  

The amount of snow at mid-altitudes makes the approach to the huts more difficult than normal but should not be a problem for fit, experienced alpinists.  

A new warden for the Nid Aigle hut is in the process of being appointed. The hut should be open at some time between 1st and 15th June. The reservation system will be identical to that for the Tete Rousse and the Gouter, nominative, online, (50% of the places through resa web) and by telephone.  Proof of a reservation is needed to access the huts.    

As reported in previous bulletins, camping will be forbidden anywhere on the route, including the Tete Rousse.  Therefore, it is pointless carrying a tent.  As an alternative, communal tents, Himalayan base camp style with mattresses and blankets, (5 tents, each with 8 places i.e. 40 places total,) have been made available.  They can be reserved using the the Tete Rousse website. Full price is expected to be about 30€; usual reductions available.  

Miscellaneous

The road up to the Emosson dam is due to open soon.  However, there is work planned on the dam from 13th May for three weeks.  Hikers and skiers will be forbidden to go across the dam during this time.

Landing at the Bois du Bouchet para gliding site is forbidden by council order from 13th to 22nd May.  This is so that the area can be put back in order following the Musilac festival.  During this period, landing is allowed at the Bois du Bouchet hang gliding site